Take My Advice: A Few Wise Words for Next Year’s Freshmen

I asked my friend Nick what advice he would give new freshmen. He replied,  “The most important thing to remember is do not be a sheep and think for yourself.”

If I could give advice to future freshmen, this is what I would say.

*Go to office hours, go to office hours, go to office hours! Your professors really want to help you and see you succeed.
*Go to the library. Dorm rooms are full of noise and distraction.
*Get involved!
*When you go to D-hall, don’t be afraid to sit with someone new—especially during the first few weeks of school. It is good to talk to new people.
*If/when you get homesick, call your family and friends!! Everyone gets homesick. It’s normal if this is the first time you have been away from home and on your own!
*Learn how to manage your time.
*Buy a planner, and write everything down.
*Read your course syllabi.
*During the first week of classes, find out where your professors’ offices are located, and go meet them in person. Find out when their office hours are scheduled.
*Don’t be afraid to do things by yourself.
*Make it a point to know people in your class so you can create study groups.
*Make time for yourself: Read a fun book, go to the gym, take a break from social media, buy a devotional.
*Go on Lancerlink to look up clubs.
*Go to Lancer Productions events and other campus activities.
*Create a routine, and have a regular sleep schedule.
*Do not procrastinate! Deadlines and exams come up fast. Don’t cram—study a week ahead of time, and study a little each day.
*Use Quizlet. It is a lifesaver!
*Start assignments when they are assigned.
*One day at a time.
*Take classes that interest you.
*Check your email daily. Download the Canvas app.
*Clean your room or at least make your bed every day. It’ll make going to bed more comfortable, and you can concentrate more on homework.
*Make time to do fun things.
*Don’t spread yourself too thin—don’t join too many clubs or organizations.
*Go to Pairet’s. You can customize what you want, and it’s way less expensive.
* Go to the Writing Center, and go to tutoring.
*Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
*Go to the CHI walks.
*Open and read your textbooks. Just because your professor doesn’t cover it in class doesn’t mean you won’t be tested on it.
*Take risks. You just might get that position that you apply and interview for.
*Work hard and stay positive.

College is a time full of new adventures. It’s a time to find yourself, to make friendships, try new things and learn. Enjoy it—this first year flies by.

My Life As A Freshman: A Look Back

As I write this, a million different memories are flowing through my head.

I remember like it was yesterday getting my room set up and saying goodbye to my parents with tear-filled eyes as they left me in my dorm room. Slowly Longwood became my second home.

I am so blessed to have met so many cool people. The friendships and relationships I have made here are awesome. As I got more involved in campus organizations, I felt more at home. I am so thankful for all the opportunities and memories this great little place has given me.

As freshman year is done in 10 days, I am not ready to leave all my friends that I have made here. I know it sounds so cliché, but time flies when you are having fun. It has been such a great first-year experience, and I can’t picture myself being anywhere else but Longwood.

I am so happy here. I am having fun, making great friendships, working hard and—most of all— learning, learning a lot. I am so happy I chose Longwood.

I couldn’t have done it without the support of my amazing parents, family, friends, my awesome professors, the Writing Center and tutoring. The resources here are endless.

One thing that stands out to me the most about this freshman year is taking risks. My advice for next year’s freshmen? Go for it. It  just might change your life for the better. 🙂 College is hard, but it’s also really fun if you’ll let it be.

Experiencing Longwood’s special traditions really made me appreciate this school even more. As a freshman, it’s a great feeling to see the amazing spirit and excitement for these special events firsthand: the Honor and Integrity Ceremony, CHI walks, First Friday Back, The G.A.M.E., Color Wars, Oktoberfest, the holiday tree lighting, Spring Weekend, pig roast and the CHI burning. These traditions are really what makes Longwood such a special and unique school.

Members of CHI are revealed each year at the CHI burning. CHI, one of Longwood’s secret societies, works to spread the spirit of Longwood throughout campus.

Spring Weekend and Longwood Lions

Spring weekend was a fun way to de-stress from the never-ending papers, projects and tests that come at the end of the semester.  Anna Clendening, A Thousand Horses, Young Gravy and We the Kings performed. They were all really great. Oozeball was fun to watch, and all the booths were really cool to look at—just like at Oktoberfest.

Student organizations set up fundraising booths during Spring Weekend.
Oozeball is volleyball played in the mud. Students form teams and compete against each other.

Longwood Lions is officially chartered at Longwood as a student organization. I had the honor of attending the initiation and pinning ceremony. It is a service organization that does work within the community but also contributes worldwide. Some very important people were there, including Longwood university President W. Taylor Reveley IV and the mayor of Farmville. The Farmville Lions Club is excited to have new people in Lions, and having a chapter on the Longwood campus will help the bring the college and community closer. Since we are new to campus, we want to grow our organization. The mission statement of the Lions Club is to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding.

What’s In Store Next Year: I Will Be an RA!

Brooklynn could be living in Sharp or Register hall next year as an RA. (The two buildings are identical.)

Getting the email that I had been selected as an RA (resident assistant) for the 2019-20 school year was such an exciting and surreal moment!

I want to be an RA so I can be a part of something bigger than myself and make a positive impact on the lives of Longwood students. Having that sense of a close-knit community with all the other resident assistants and my residents is another aspect that attracted me.

This awesome experience will allow me to improve my leadership skills, meet new people and help others. I am a rule follower, so I will be a role model for my residents. And with my social butterfly personality, big heart, creativity and positive energy, I will help them have a great experience.

When you’re an RA, your housing and meal plan are paid for, so that will be very helpful with saving money to go to graduate school.

The process for becoming an RA was pretty involved.

First I applied with my resume. Then I had to get recommendations from a professor, a current RA and from someone who knows me. I found out I made it through to the interview process, which includes an individual interview and a group interview, during winter break. I came back to campus a few days early  this semester for the interviews. The anticipation and waiting was so stressful, but it was definitely worth it.

Next year, I will be assigned to either Arc, Sharp, Register or Stubbs. All of these dorms are a huge upgrade from Curry, where I live now, so that will be fun. (Of course, Curry is scheduled to be completely renovated next year.) I will find out a little later in the semester what building I will be assigned to. In April, I will start spring training and leadership workshops. In the fall I will take an Intro to Residence Life class to continue my training.

It will be a lot of responsibility and hard work—but I can’t wait to be an RA!

Christmas Memories, Spring Semester Excitement

Brooklynn and her family in Colorado for Christmas.

My first Christmas home from college is one I will remember forever. I found out on Christmas Day that we were taking a family vacation to Colorado! It was so fun to visit with all my family. It had been two years since I’d seen them, and that’s a long time. I’m so grateful that we got to take that trip. It was filled with laughter, love, memories, great people and great food!

Spring semester has quickly begun, so that means new classes! I am taking Conceptual Physics, Child Development, English 165, a grammar class and American sign language! I have made new friends and learned how fun the game pool is. I have also finally gone to my first Longwood basketball game.

Elwood rocks the court at Brooklynn’s first basketball game.

I am so excited to say that I will be an RA (resident assistant) for the 2019-20 school year. I am so blessed to have this amazing opportunity. I can’t wait for this new experience!

This semester I am going to try to have more balance of school work and fun. Making time to de-compress, de-stress and relax by hanging out with friends more. I’m looking forward to Spring Weekend this semester and to the events put on by Lancer Productions. I went to the first one of the semester: Welcome Back Bingo. It was fun to go and see all my friends and catch up since Christmas vacation.

I am excited for this new semester and all the new experiences I will have!

Fantastic February: New Friends, New Responsibilities

February has been a month full of new adventures and new opportunities! I have gotten settled back into school mode, and it feels good to have a routine again.

At the beginning of February, I celebrated my birthday—which, as a triplet, I share with two of my brothers. My older brother, Davis, and his girlfriend, Brittany, came and helped me celebrate. The next day we went to Lynchburg, where we met my parents and brothers (the other two of the triplets) for lunch. It was so great being with them and getting to celebrate our birthday together for the weekend.

Brooklynn found her first CHI dropping in February on her way to her 8 a.m. physics class. CHI is a secret society at Longwood, and “droppings” are extremely rare to find.

I have found this semester more difficult—classes are harder. But with office hours, supportive professors and tutors I am not scared for the challenge. I am so thankful to have great professors who want to help me succeed and be the best that I can.

I love going to the Lancer Production events and basketball games here on campus! The most recent Lancer production events that I have gone to are the stuff-a-stuffed-animal event and Pinterest night. It is fun after a long week of classes to just relax and have fun with friends.

Basketball games have become one of Brooklynn’s favorite activities.
Brooklynn and Daniel, another freshman blogger, attended the Lancer Productions event where students got to “stuff” their own stuffed animals.

I recently found out about CCM, the Catholic campus ministry for students at Longwood and Hampden-Sydney College, a men’s college just outside of Farmville. Even though it was my first time meeting all these new people, I was not nervous and was very comfortable. I felt so very welcomed. On Tuesdays, we have a dinner together, play some kind of game and then listen to a message for the week. On Thursdays, there is Bible study. I have found such a great community here. It is where faith, fun and friends gather!

I recently found out I have been selected to be serve as an Honor & Conduct Board member for the 2019-20 school year. I am excited for this new opportunity! At Longwood we take the honor code very seriously, and I am honored to be on the board and represent Longwood in such a great way. I will be in the honor and conduct ceremony.

I also was elected to serve as an executive officer for Longwood’s chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) for the 2019-20 school year. This position is extremely important in encouraging freshman and sophomore membership. I will be responsible for informing, engaging and motivating the students to join the organization; orchestrating the annual involvement fairs during Oktoberfest and Spring Weekend; visiting a freshman class to encourage membership; keeping all social media outlets current; and creating flyers to promote the group.


End-of-Semester Thoughts: The holiday tree, Nile the camel, my writing coach and Mrs. Betty

Brooklynn (right) with her friend, Dani, at Dani’s senior piano recital

My favorite part of campus this Christmas season is the giant Christmas tree inside Ruffner under the Rotunda dome. I have my citizenship class in Ruffner, and seeing the Christmas tree all lit up as I walk to class is peaceful. Christmas time at Longwood is so pretty. Campus is gorgeous this time of year with the trees all different colors. I enjoy how decorated and festive Longwood is: Christmas wreaths on the doors and on buildings, candles in windows, and garland on the light poles, including the railings inside and out.

This semester is wrapping up so fast. I am so blessed to have such amazing professors who have helped me in so many ways. I could not have made it on the president’s list this semester without them! They have all taught me so much and made it fun!

A shout-out to my friend Dani Rauchwarg, who is a  senior here at Longwood. Having someone I know work with me on my writing at the Writing Center made me more comfortable. Dani has helped me immensely with improving my writing skills throughout this entire semester. I will apply everything she has taught me in all my papers. I am so thankful to have her here for my freshman year. I  have enjoyed coming to her concerts, and specifically her senior piano recital. The best way to take a break from studying is to listen to beautiful music!

Nile the Camel decked out for the holidays in D-hall.

When I go into D-hall to eat, Mrs. Betty always greets me with a smile and asks how I am doing. She is such a positive influence and such a sweet lady. She has this special stuffed animal, a camel named Nile, out on the counter on Wednesdays that has different outfits. I went in Monday for breakfast, and Nile was out with a Christmas tree outfit on! Mrs. Betty said, “I know he is usually out on just Wednesdays, but I realize finals are coming up next week, and I love seeing those smiles when he’s dressed in different costumes. So I figured he would make your days more enjoyable if he was out every day.”

My First Week: Finding My Way and Starting to Feel at Home  

(This post was inadvertently not posted when Brooklynn submitted it—but it’s too good to leave out.)

Move-in day was emotional for me. It hit me that I was stepping into a whole new territory and leaving my family and friends back home—and my dogs. My older brother, Davis, went to Longwood and graduated last year. I am a triplet, and my two other brothers are at University of Lynchburg and Roanoke College.

I am excited for this opportunity and new experience/chapter of my life. Getting my dorm all set up and decorated was a long process. My roommate, Ashley King, and I went to middle school together. Ashley is so caring, kind and funny. I am so glad I have her as my roommate. We keep each other motivated, and we make time to get our work done plus have fun. Going through this new experience together has been awesome so far.

New Lancer Days did a great job of keeping me entertained and focused on what was happening here and not what I was missing at home. Cory Craig, a motivational speaker and actor, came to talk to us. He gave me great advice to remember throughout my college years and life in general.

At the Honor and Integrity Ceremony, it was cool to see all the professors and President Reveley in their fancy gowns. It gave me a feeling of reality that I am now a college student at Longwood and that I have to uphold the values and responsibilities of this great university. I believe the honor code ceremony really shows how important and serious it is here.

After three days of important talks and awesome entertainment and activities, it was time to start classes. I was nervous about not being able to find my classes the first day. Peer mentors did a guided class building tour and helped me find my classes, so I knew where to go and how long it took to get to each building. Even though I am starting out on this new journey alone, that is not the environment here at Longwood. Everyone is so kind, friendly and supportive. The first day of class it poured. My class is all the way on the other side of D-hall, and an upperclassman gave me a ride to D-hall so I didn’t have to walk in the rain.

It has only been a week since I moved in, and I have met so many awesome people already! Yesterday was First Friday Back, and one of Longwood’s many traditions is The G.A.M.E. It was neat to get the scarf every upperclassman has told me about. It was a cool feeling to experience the first tradition of the year as a freshman.

The Multipurpose Upchurch University Center

Brooklynn loves how the barista at the Starbucks in the new Upchurch University Center always remembers the extra “n” in her name.

I had been waiting for the new Upchurch University Center to open, just like everyone else. It was so awesome that it opened when we came back for fall break.

I absolutely love the new Upchurch Center. It is such a great addition to Longwood’s campus. I love that we have a Starbucks and that that they accept gift cards, so I don’t spend all my bonus dollars all at one place. As midterms have been happening and this is the time in the semester when there are so many different assignments due at the same time, coffee is great!

Au Bon Pain is nice—it is just like Panera! Now that it has started to get cold outside, I really like how they have so many soups/stews to pick from. They change the flavors daily.

The new center is also a place where I can hang out with friends and study.

Brooklynn and her friend Lucie, a senior, both participated in a recent Alzheimer’s walk.

Oktoberfest: Color Wars and Country Music

Brooklynn with her 8th floor “peeps” from Curry Hall. Her RA, Sophie, is the one with the green cups.

As soon as I was accepted to Longwood, I was so excited to experience all the traditions of this special school. So I was super excited to kick off Oktoberfest weekend with Color Wars! It was a blast—such a fun event with so much positive energy and spirit. I am glad I wore sunglasses! (It’s not fun getting paint in your eyes!) Because they have an even-number graduation year (2022) freshmen this year are a red class.

Saturday of Oktoberfest was the best day here for me so far. I love country music, and concerts are my favorite thing to go to. So my favorite part of Oktoberfest was that Chris Lane came and put on an amazing show. Not only is he a great singer, he also is a great performer! He knows how to engage with the audience very well. It was such a great way to de-stress from classes.

It is so crazy that Oktoberfest  marks the halfway point of the fall semester. The days are slow but the weeks just keep flying by!